Notes on future development

Many of the general concerns discussed on this website can be applied to any large scale development in Bolney. The size of central Bolney is around 230-300 houses (citation needed). 'Large scale' development in this context is generally felt to be anything disproportionate to this number and likely to cause strain on infrastructure. Arguably any proposed development of more than 20 houses would cause concern and this number could even be lower depending on the location.

True integration with Bolney cannot be achieved with large scale developments which would eclipse the identity of the village. However, we must remain open to smaller proposals which will allow organic, sustainable growth and consider them on their own merits.

The BNDP identified 3 sites for development at that time: London Road ~30 dwellings; GW Motors 8-10; Bolney House Gardens 3-5. Of these, 21 houses were delivered on the London Road site (Davey Road/Churchfield View) in 2023 and we believe a further 22 'windfall' across the last 2-5 years.

We believe that other sites omitted from the draft Plan at Regulation 19 stage may challenge lack of inclusion, e.g. Land east of Paynesfield for 30 houses; Land west of London Road for 65 houses (down from 81), Land west of Bolney Place for 10 houses (behind the 8 Bells) and that more sites may come forward, despite being rejected due to unsuitability from inclusion in the Neighbourhood Plan.

ANY development with direct pedestrian or vehicular access to The Street will expose pedestrians and cyclists to the dangers of the narrow road they are entering, often with no raised footpath. In such a constricted area, motorists may be distracted whilst passing other vehicles or have obscured views due to parked cars. We already have this situation and we should not compound the dangers by adding to the volume of traffic and the number of people exposed to it.

ANY new development funnelling cars and larger vehicles onto the narrow lanes will expose those and other road users to danger, whether it be pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders or other vehicles. The lanes are narrow and frequently lacking passing space, sometimes with soft or steep verges, blind bends and hills. Risk of damage and injury to life is high and the fewer vehicles using these lanes, the better.

ANY new development of more than a few houses will put pressure on junctions with the A272. This road is well known for being busy with fast-flowing traffic. The worst stretch is at Crosspost where accidents and near misses are a feature of daily life. The junction next to Bolney Nursery often has tail-backs at peak times, creating rat-running through the village. If and when traffic lights are installed there, the situation is unlikely to improve and may even worsen. Even without increasing vehicle numbers in the village there will be additional traffic on the A272 generated from Rampion 2 construction and other large developments at Burgess Hill etc.

Sustainability is a major issue in Bolney:

Lack of public transport means heavy reliance on private vehicles.
Increased risk of flooding is a real concern: although the village is not classified as high risk, incidents of flooding have occurred and more buildings will remove any natural drainage and water retention and create additional run-off on low-lying areas, potentially affecting houses, footpaths and roads.
Ironically, Bolney frequently suffers from water shortages, either because of reduced pressure when there is a major pipe leak or when reservoirs get low.
Electricity supply is not robust with several outages experienced during the brief consultation period of Reg 19 (as well as other times!)

Our concerns are unlikely to be addressed by any developer's promises. Enhancements suggested in developer’s proposals are frequently inappropriate, unfeasible and unnecessary.

It is dangerous to concede partial development of a field or a reduced number of houses on any large site. Developers will eventually push for more housing on the remainder and there may be no robust defence to stop them. They have the resources and funds to challenge anything in their way.

Access to any development site should never cross a public footpath or right of way or bridleway for safety reasons. It would also erode the amenity value of our footpaths and Diamond Jubilee Walk and likely damage ancient hedgerows. This has not been suggested to date but be vigilant! Likewise, we do not want to see gaps in proposed housing layouts left for later extension into neighburing sites.